How Do I Apply For Supplemental Security Income
SSI is an income assistance program administered by the SSA for people who are elderly , blind, or disabled or whose income follows these guidelines: . For the most current information on SSI requirements, please call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 or visit . You can generally expect an answer on whether you are eligible for SSI within two to six months.
Where Can I Find More Information
To find more information about Maryland programs for seniors, visit www.aging.maryland.gov. You can also call 410-767-1100, 800-243-3425 , or 410-767-1083 . The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services offer consumer resources at www.medicare.gov and 1-800-MEDICARE. The Social Security Administration has several helpful publications on its website, visit .
Investment Returns Vs Social Security Income Increases
Life After Work Zone crunched the numbers to see if claiming your benefit early and investing it would net you more money than if you had waited until the full retirement age or the age at which you receive the maximum benefit . It turns out that if you live into your 80s, this gamble does not pay off even if you invest aggressively and net 7% returns.
If you invest aggressively, you hit a break-even point at age 80 if you start collecting at 67 instead of age 62, and a break-even point at age 83 if you start collecting at age 70 instead of age 62. At those points, youll be stuck with a lower monthly payment than if you had waited until 67 or 70 to start collecting. And the ages you would break even are obviously lower if your investment return is less than 7%.
Given this math, its clear that this is a gamble that usually doesnt pay off, especially considering that about 1 out of every 3 65-year-olds today will live until at least age 90, and 1 out of 7 will live until at least age 95, according to the Social Security Administration.
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How To Receive Federal Benefits
To begin receiving your federal benefits, like Social Security or veterans benefits, you must sign up for electronic payments with direct deposit.
If You Have a Bank or Credit Union Account:
- Call the Go Direct Helpline at .
If You Don’t have a Bank or Credit Union Account:
- Direct Express debit card – a pre-paid debit card. Get help by calling the Go Direct Helpline at .
Make Changes to an Existing Direct Deposit Account:
On Go Direct’s FAQ page, learn how to make changes to an existing direct deposit account. You also may contact the federal agency that pays your benefit for help with your enrollment.
Monthly Medicare Premiums For 2022
The standard Part B premium for 2022 is $170.10. If youre single and filed an individual tax return, or married and filed a joint tax return, the following chart applies to you:
|Modified Adjusted Gross Income||Part B monthly premium amount||Prescription drug coverage monthly premium amount|
|Individuals with a MAGI of less than or equal to $91,000 Married couples with a MAGI of $182,000 or less||2022 standard premium = $170.10|
|Your plan premium + $77.90|
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Getting A Social Security Number For A New Baby
The easiest way to get a Social Security number for your child is at the hospital after they are born when you apply for your childs birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, there may be delays while SSA verifies your childs birth certificate.
Your child will need their own Social Security number so you can:
- Claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return
- Open a bank account in their name
- Get medical coverage for them
- Apply for government services for them
What Is The Maximum Social Security Benefit You Can Get
The highest Social Security benefit you can receive varies based on your age when you claim benefits. Here is the highest payout you can receive at various ages:
$2,364 if you file at the age of 62.
$3,345 if you file at full retirement age
$4,194 if you file at age 70.
If your earnings equal or exceed Social Securitys maximum taxable income, you are eligible for a maximum benefit. The maximum taxable income is the amount of earnings on which you pay Social Security taxes for at least 35 years of your career. In 2022, the maximum taxable income is $147,000, and it will increase to $160,200 in 2023. Annual adjustments are made based on changes in national wage levels.
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How To Withdraw Your Application
You have 60 days to cancel an approved withdrawal. After that, you will lose any possible entitlement for the period covered by your original application.
Withdrawing Both Social Security And Medicare Benefits
There is additional information to consider if you also withdraw your Medicare coverage.
- You must repay all Medicare Part A benefits paid on your behalf.
- Your Medicare Part B coverage is treated as a voluntary termination. You will have Part B coverage for the month you requested the withdrawal and the next month.
- If you file for benefits and Medicare again later, your Part B premiums may be higher due to your late enrollment.
Withdrawing from Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B can also affect your coverage under a Medicare Advantage plan and Medicare Part D .
- Your Medicare Advantage enrollment will automatically end if you withdraw from Medicare Part A, Part B, or both.
- You will no longer be eligible for Medicare Part D if you withdraw from Medicare Part A and Part B. You will pay a penalty if you enroll in Medicare Part D in the future.
- If you keep Part A or Part B, you are still eligible for Medicare Part D.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will handle your future bills for Part B premiums if you decide to keep that coverage. You can choose to pay the bill automatically from your bank or financial institution.
You may need to have a personal interview if you want to terminate Part B. Learn more about terminating Medicare Part B.
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The Parts Of Medicare
Social Security enrolls you in Original Medicare .
- Medicare Part A helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or limited time at a skilled nursing facility . Part A also pays for some home health care and hospice care.
- Medicare Part B helps pay for services from doctors and other health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventive services.
Other parts of Medicare are run by private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare.
- Supplemental policies help pay Medicare out-of-pocket copayments, coinsurance, and deductible expenses.
- Medicare Advantage Plan includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B prescription drugs and additional benefits such as vision, hearing, and dental bundled together in one plan.
- Medicare Part D helps cover the cost of prescription drugs.
Most people age 65 or older are eligible for free Medicare hospital insurance if they have worked and paid Medicare taxes long enough. You can sign up for Medicare medical insurance by paying a monthly premium. Some beneficiaries with higher incomes will pay a higher monthly Part B premium. To learn more, read .
Medicare Part A Costs
One big benefit of Medicare Part A is that most people are eligible to participate without having to pay a monthly premium. If you or your spouse paid into the Medicare program via payroll withholding for at least 10 years, you generally wont have to pay for Part A coverage.
Some people who dont have 10 full years of work history will have to pay monthly premiums. Those working between 30 and 39 quarters will pay $278 per month in 2023, up $4 from 2022. Those with less than 30 quarters of eligible work history have to pay $506 per month, higher by $7 from year-earlier levels.
If you need to use your Part A coverage during the year, there are additional costs under the program. A deductible of $1,600 for 2023 applies upfront before Medicare starts to cover costs. Thats $44 higher than it was in 2022.
There are also copayments for many Part A services. After the deductible is met, Medicare provides full coverage for the first 60 days of a hospital stay. From the 61st day to the 90th, the copayment is $400 per day, up $11 from 2022. On the 91st day and beyond, you have 60 lifetime reserve days for which youll pay $800 per day in 2023, $22 higher than in 2022.
The cost structure for skilled nursing-facility stays is similar. Copayments are $0 for the first 20 days, and then from the 21st day to the 100th day, patients have to pay $200 per day. Thats up by $5.50 per day from 2022. Beyond the 100th day, Medicare no longer offers coverage.
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You Automatically Get Medicare When You Turn 65
- Well mail you a welcome package with your Medicare card 3 months before your Medicare coverage starts.
Sign up for Part B if you live in Puerto Rico or outside the U.S.You get Part A automatically. If you want Part B, you need to sign up for it. If you dont sign up for Part B within 3 months of turning 65, you might have to wait to sign up and pay a monthly late enrollment penalty.
Who Is Eligible For Medicare
Most people enroll in Medicare when they turn 65. You can enroll as early as three months before your 65th birthday or as late as three months after. Youll need to be a United States citizen or have been a permanent legal resident for at least five years. In order to get full coverage, you or your spouse need to meet a work requirement. Meeting the work requirement verifies that youve paid into the system.
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How To Stop Social Security Check Payments
The SSA can not pay benefits for the month of a recipients death. That means if the person died in July, the check received in August must be returned. Find out how to return a check to the SSA.
If the payment is by direct deposit, notify the financial institution as soon as possible so it can return any payments received after death. For more about the requirement to return benefits for the month of a beneficiarys death, see the top of page 11 of this SSA publication.
Family members may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits when a person getting benefits dies. Visit the SSA’s Survivors Benefits page to learn more.
If Your Income Has Gone Down
If your income has gone down and the change makes a difference in the income level we consider, contact us to explain that you have new information. We may make a new decision about your income-related monthly adjustment amount for the following reasons:
- You married, divorced, or became widowed.
- You or your spouse stopped working or reduced your work hours.
- You or your spouse lost income-producing property because of a disaster or other event beyond your control.
- You or your spouse experienced a scheduled cessation, termination, or reorganization of an employers pension plan.
- You or your spouse received a settlement from an employer or former employer because of the employers closure, bankruptcy, or reorganization.
If any of the above applies to you, we need to see documentation verifying the event and the reduction in your income. The documentation you provide should relate to the event and may include a death certificate, a letter from your employer about your retirement, or something similar. If you filed a federal income tax return for the year in question, you need to show us your signed copy of the return. Use Form Medicare Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount Life-Changing Event to report a major life-changing event. If your income has gone down, you may also use Form SSA-44 to request a reduction in your income-related monthly adjustment amount.
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When Should I Sign Up For Medicare
Generally, we advise people to file for Medicare benefits 3 months before age 65. Remember, Medicare benefits can begin no earlier than age 65. If you are already receiving Social Security, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B without an additional application. However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you have the option of turning it down. You will receive a Medicare card about two months before age 65. If you would like to file for Medicare only, you can apply by calling 1-800-772-1213. Our representatives there can make an appointment for you at any convenient Social Security office and advise you what to bring with you. When you apply for Medicare, we often also take an application for monthly benefits. You can apply for retirement benefits online.
If you didnt sign up when you were first eligible for Medicare, you can sign up during the General Enrollment Period between January 1 and March 31 each year, unless you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.
Signing Up For Medicare
Follow the steps below if you need to actively enroll in Medicare.
If you decide to enroll in Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, you can sign up for Parts A and/or B by:
- Visiting your local Social Security office
- Mailing a signed and dated letter to Social Security that includes your name, Social Security number, and the date you would like to be enrolled in Medicare
- Or, by applying online at www.ssa.gov
If you are eligible for Railroad Retirement benefits, enroll in Medicare by calling the Railroad Retirement Board or contacting your local RRB field office.
Keep proof of when you tried to enroll in Medicare, to protect yourself from incurring a Part B premium penalty if your application is lost.
- Take down the names of any representatives you speak to, along with the time and date of the conversation.
- If you enroll through the mail, use certified mail and request a return receipt.
- If you enroll at your local Social Security office, ask for a written receipt.
- If you apply online, print out and save your confirmation page.
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If You’re Ready To Apply For Social Security Benefits Gathering Your Personal Information First Makes It Faster And Easier
You can apply for Social Security retirement benefits through the Social Security Administration as early as age 62, or as late as age 70. These benefits replace a percentage of your pre-retirement income based on your lifetime earnings once you retire .
When you qualify, there are a few steps you need to take to actually apply for benefits, as well as information and documentation to gather to ensure your application is approved. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the easier the application process will go and the lower the chances of there being errors.
Here is more information about how to apply for Social Security benefits, as well as what you’ll need for the process.
How Do I Apply For Disability Benefits
To apply for disability benefits, please visit www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability. In order to be approved for disability benefits, you must prove the following:
- You are unable to perform work that you were able to do before, and your disability must be expected to last 12 months or result in death
- You cannot adjust to other work because of a medical condition
If you do receive disability benefits, they wont begin until the sixth full month after the date the SSA decides the disability began. In addition, you must wait two years before you qualify for Medicare coverage.
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A You Can Continue Working And Start Receiving Your Retirement Benefits
If you start your benefits before your full retirement age, your benefits are reduced a fraction of a percent for each month before your full retirement age.
You can get Social Security retirement benefits and work at the same time before your full retirement age. However your benefits will be reduced if you earn more than the yearly earnings limits.
After you reach your full retirement age, we will recalculate your benefit amount to give you credit for any months you did not receive a benefit because of your earnings. We will send you a letter that explains any increase in your benefit amount.
If you delay filing for your benefits until after full retirement age, you will be eligible for delayed retirement credits that would increase your monthly benefit. If you also continue to work, you will be able to receive your full retirement benefits and any increase resulting from your additional earnings when we recalculate your benefits. Once you reach full retirement age, your earnings do not affect your benefit amount.
If you start receiving retirement benefits before age 65, you are automatically enrolled in Original Medicare when you turn 65. If you or your spouse are still working and covered under an employer-provided group health plan, talk to the personnel office before signing up for Medicare Part B. To learn more, read our Medicare publication.